Aiptasia is a common pest in saltwater aquariums, and many hobbyists turn to the aiptasia eating filefish as a solution. But is this species safe for reef tanks? The answer is generally yes, but with some important considerations.
The aiptasia eating filefish is a hardy species that feeds primarily on aiptasia, but they may also nibble on other fleshy corals. While they are unlikely to cause significant damage to a healthy reef system, it is still important to monitor their behavior and make sure they are not causing harm to other inhabitants. Some people will place the fish in a quarantine tank with a rock that has aiptasia on it to kind of train it to eat these before putting it into the display. They can be hart to find and expensive so consider the below also.
In addition, it is worth considering alternative methods of controlling aiptasia in a reef tank. A popular option is the peppermint shrimp, which is reef safe and will feed on aiptasia without damaging other corals. These guys are very easy to get usually. Note that these can also eat fleshy corals, including anemone. I did have one eating the tentacles off of mine… 90% certain that was the cause.
In conclusion, the aiptasia eating filefish can be a useful tool for controlling aiptasia in a reef tank, but it is important to monitor their behavior and consider alternative methods if necessary. By being mindful of these considerations, reef hobbyists can keep their tanks healthy and thriving.